The Grand Ole Opry has filled out its Saturday night line-up by adding Ricky Skaggs for both shows. That is a welcomed addition. I am suprised that Ricky is not hosting any segment on either of the shows. Usually Ricky would take a host spot over Jeannie Seely or Jim Ed Brown. Nothing major. And in looking at the line-up again, I see that Jeannie Seely is hosting with Jack Greene as her guest. Years ago, it would have been the other way around, especially when Jeannie was singing the duets with Jack.
Also, nice too see Brad Paisley winning the CMA Entertainer of the Year award last night. Of those nominated, I think he deserved it. I know things change and so has country music. I remember watching the first CMA show with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans hosting, which was on tape delay because the networks were afraid on how the "hillbillies" would act on television. And I can remember when watching the CMA Awards Show was "must see" tv. To me, the highlight was always watching to see who they would name as the newest member to the Hall of Fame. But, for a couple of years now, I just can't seem to get excited about the show. I caught a bit of it last night. I saw George Strait singing and that was fine. I also saw the Zac Brown Band win the new artist award, and I would not believe how they were dressed. It used to be "Sunday best" for the show, but I guess that is long gone. And, to hear Blake Shelton's response on winning an award so early in the show, basically saying that now that he won, he could go out drinking! I know that this is a new era of country music performers and they act and do things differently than the legends did. Folks such as Cash, Jennings, Willie, Loretta, Monroe, Tubb, Snow and on and on. Maybe that is why some of these new folks will have such short careers and never become, truly legends. Sometimes I wonder if they really respect the music. Finally, it was nice that they did the tribute to Loretta Lynn. I would also have loved it if they would have taken 5 minutes out of a 3 hour show and paid tribute to the new Hall of Fame members.
The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for this weekend's shows. There will be 1 show on Friday night and 2 shows on Saturday night, all taking place at the Ryman Auditorium.
Friday November 12:
7:00: Mike Snider(host); Jeannie Seely; Josh Kelley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jan Howard; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Bill Anderson(host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Craig Morgan
8:45: Marty Stuart(host); Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith
Saturday November 13:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C. Newman ; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jim Ed Brown(host); Connie Smith; Ricky Skaggs
8:00: Mike Snider(host); Jean Shepard; Gretchen Wilson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); The Whites; Craig Morgan
9:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Jack Greene; Ricky Skaggs
10:30: Jim Ed Brown(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Gretchen Wilson; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson(host); The Whites; Craig Morgan
One of the things that struck me about this line-up is that tonight are the CMA Awards in Nashville. Remember in days gone by when many of the country stars would hang around an extra couple of days and do the Opry? Looks like no more. And, do all of you remember when Gretchen Wilson was going to be the next big female star in country music?
On Tuesday night, Charlie Louvin returned to the Opry stage for the Tuesday night Opry. Eddie Stubbs gave Charlie a very nice introduction, as he always does. Charlie did 3 songs and he sounded pretty good, much better than his couple of appearances on the Midnight Jamboree. Here is hoping that Charlie will be making more of the Opry shows. Also, he was plugging his new album that was released yesterday, "The Battle Rages On." Check it out. It is pretty good.
A couple of former Opry musicians are having some health issues. Billy Linneman, who played bass in the Grand Ole Opry staff band is in the hospital for surgery for bleeding in the brain. Billy was a member of the staff band from 1962-2005, when he was let go by Pete Fisher. At the time there was a lot of discussion with the changes that were being made in the staff band.
Bill Carlisle, Jr. is the other former Opry musician who is having a health issue. Bill Jr, who performed with his father Bill Carlisle as part of the Carlisles, reportedly broke his neck and suffered spinal injuries in a motorcycle accident. He was riding is motorcycle between Goodlettsville and Hendersonville. He was in Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical, but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit. He is on a ventilater and when his condition allows, he is to be moved to a facility in Atlanta for his recuperation. If you remember, Bill sang as part of the Carlisles with his dad, his sister Sheila, and later with George Riddle. Of course, Marshall Barnes, who Bill would often introduce as the world's greatest base singer, and Joe Edwards, were also part of the group at various times.
Finally, last Sunday 2 Opry members were honored with stars on the Music City Walk of Fame, in Walkway of Fame Park in Nashville, which is located across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame. Jimmy Dickens and Mel Tillis were both honored in the ceremony. Also honored with a star was former Opry member, Eddy Arnold. For more information on the ceremony and pictures, check out the Tennessean on line.